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Re: Berkeley Balcony Collapse-Professional Photos

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Thanks to you and Lisa for sharing those pictures. That is some camera, I
have to get me one of those! Even though they were shot from across the
street you could zoom in really close and see lots of detail.

Very clear to me there was very severe rot damage to the joists and the
floor sheathing. Specifically Photo 7 (9712), the second joist from the
right had much more severe damage to the top than the bottom, confirming
the source of water was from the top. It appears the bottom of the second
beam from the right was swollen unevenly, and the deterioration to both of
the beams on the right (severe swelling, possible separation of layers of
wood) makes me think they were LVL or similar engineered lumber versus sawn
lumber.  Anyone else seeing that? I haven't seen much engineered lumber rot
damage but sawn lumber doesn't typically swell and come apart in layers in
my experience.

I don't see counter flashing, or flashing, but the flashing could be
underneath the membrane.

No roof over the balcony, never helps..

Photo 22 (9737)- the top of the lower balcony appears sloped away from the
building, so it even had that going for it (presumably).

Chuck- I could be wrong and they are sawn lumber and not engineered lumber,
but they don't have the color of treated wood, nor would I expect treated
lumber to be used in this situation unless the wood is permanently exposed
to weather or in contact with concrete/masonry. Also cost wise, even though
it is not that much difference, a builder isn't likely to use treated wood
unless the plans call for it. Anyone else used to specifying or seeing PT
wood for this type of balcony that is enclosed?

I spent plenty of time in college when not studying drinking beers on
balconies with lots of people standing on them. I can imagine this
happening to me and it makes me sick to my stomach for those poor kids.

Andrew Kester, PE

On Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 4:48 PM, Chuck Utzman <chuckutzman(--nospam--at)> wrote: 

> At lunch today a local architect said he heard that the joists were
> pressure treated. That's a little hard to believe. Anybody?
> Chuck Utzman, PE
> On 6/17/2015 12:44 PM, Abolhassan ASTANEH-ASL wrote:

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